CLB Architects, FILTER sustainable pavilion in Times Square

CLB Architects,

Andres Orozco, Kevin Scott, Leonid Furmansky,

New York, USA,


Wood, Metal,

FILTER, the steel and wood pavilion designed by CLB Architects for the Design Pavilion and the NYCxDesign Festival, was on display in Times Square, New York. A monumental object and an ephemeral experience, the pavilion is a space for quiet recentring within the fast-paced energy of Times Square, evoking the rugged Wyoming landscape from which it originates. All made with sustainable materials.

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CLB Architects, FILTER sustainable pavilion in Times Square
Our readers may remember Town Enclosure, the art installation designed by the American CLB Architects studio and commissioned by Jackson Hole Public Art. The project was conceived as a meeting place and can be used in a variety of ways, both formal and spontaneous, to foster artistic experiences en plein air.
A similar project was recently on display in New York, more precisely between West 46th and 47th Streets in Times Square. FILTER – the name of the temporary pavilion created by CLB Architects for the NYCxDesign Festival – proposes a chapel-like design with the express purpose of facilitating "a new understanding of place, providing each occupant the chance to explore their own relationship with the natural world", as the architects who applied principles of the circular economy to their project explain. Because every element of the structure has been designed paying close attention to its sustainability, portability and longevity, beyond the duration of the installation for the NYCxDesign Festival. The pavilion consists of prefabricated steel elements that were weathered to develop a protective rust patina, evocative of the Western Rocky Mountains, together with reclaimed Glulam wooden beams. The steel plates form an ellipsoid with a diameter of 7.30 metres and a height of 6 metres, creating an unusual point of attraction in the midst of the frenzy that characterises Times Square.
The fluid shards of naturally-weathered steel arouse the curiosity of passers-by, inviting them to take a closer look. A gentle ramp leads users around the perimeter of the pavilion, from where the central space can be seen. Despite being an open and permeable space, the centre of the ellipsoid offers itself as a place detached from its hyper-urban context. In keeping with its name, FILTER cancels out the noise, the crowds and the dazzling lights of the city, offering a break from the incessant rhythm of the "city that never sleeps".
As Eric Logan, CLB partner, explains "FILTER changes the environment and creates its own." A bench made of reclaimed fir scraps is folded into the interior, "encircling a live, 6-metre-tall tree. The tree's dense canopy only partially obscures the sky beyond, inviting occupants to look upward and lose themselves in contemplation."
The FILTER pavilion, conceived by CLB Architects both as a monumental object, as well as an ephemeral experience, established – while the installation was on display – a new focal point in the heart of New York City's urban fabric. Evoking the rugged Wyoming landscape from which it originates, the pavilion orients users' experience towards the natural world, almost as a chapel in honour of nature.
As we already mentioned, the installation is not an end in itself and limited to the duration of the NYCxDesign festival, which ended just last weekend. The tree was donated to The Battery Conservancy of New York City non-profit organisation, while the pavilion was carefully dismantled for transport to Wyoming. Here, FILTER will continue its life as a public sculpture at the headquarters of the EMIT steelmaker in Sheridan, offering an intimate experience for users of the installation, who can step inside an ephemeral place that invites introspection and connection with nature.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: CLB Architects
Client: EMIT
Location: New York City (NY), Sheridan (WY)
Year: 2022
Images: Kevin Scott, Andres Orozco, Leonid Furmansky